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Letter to Libraries Online
An Electronic Newsletter
from the Oregon State Library
Governor Appoints Ebonee Bell to State Library Board
Governor Kitzhaber has appointed Ebonee Bell of Portland to the State Library Board of Trustees. She will replace Richard Turner of Portland who will retire from the Board in July after serving two four-year terms. Ms. Bell currently works at the Multnomah County Library in their Books 2 U program. She has a BA degree from Smith College and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. “We are grateful that the Governor chose such a highly-qualified Oregonian to serve on the State Library Board,” commented State Librarian MaryKay Dahlgreen. “Our Board will certainly benefit from her experience and commitment to children, libraries, and reading.”
State Library Board Meets in Troutdale
The State Library Board will meet on June 15th at the Troutdale Library. The Board will hear recommendations from the Library Services and Technology Act Advisory Council on inviting libraries to submit full competitive grant applications for projects in 2013. The Board will also hear a report from the Board Budget Committee on the Agency Request Budget process for the 2013-15 biennium. The Talking Book and Braille Services Advisory Council will also be making recommendations, including a plan to expend donation funds for 2012-13. An “Open Forum” will be held at noon. Anyone may address the Board at the Open Forum on any topic.
Explore the Oregon Book Awards Collection
Since 1995, the Oregon Center for the Book at the Oregon State Library has worked with Literary Arts, Inc. to promote the Oregon Book Awards in libraries. Publishers donate 25 copies of the finalists’ titles, which are distributed to libraries around the state. The Center for the Book also keeps a copy of all donated titles. The copies housed at the State Library were recently made available as the Oregon Book Awards Collection. There are 268 titles, which can be checked out by interlibrary loan or by coming to the State Library in person. Libraries are also welcome to download promotional bookmark templates at the Oregon Center for the Book website.
Elke Bruton Joins Battle of the Books
Elke Bruton, Public Services Librarian for Talking Book and Braille Services, has joined Battle of the Books in the position of Co-Chair 1. Elke will be working with the OBOB committee members to facilitate and organize behind the scenes aspects that bring together the Oregon Battle of the Books. While she is really nervous about filling the shoes of Debbie Alvarez, she is excited to be a part of OBOB’s organizational restructuring moving forward into the 2012-2013 season. Way to go, Elke!
Trio of Gale Webinars & Bookmarking Documents Now Available Online
This spring, Julie Pepera, a Gale trainer, offered three webinars specifically for Oregon library staff: What is a Library Database?, Finding eResources to Support Library Programming, and Marketing Your Gale Databases. These webinars were archived and are now available via the Training Opportunities link on the Gale support sites for Oregon public and academic libraries. The trainings could be useful for new library staff, volunteers, or possibly board members; for discovering ways to increase database usage; for learning new ways to get database content into the hands of patrons; and more. Also posted on the Training Opportunities pages are two documents that explain how to create and use Gale bookmarks, or permanent links to Gale content – one each for the two most common database interfaces. Questions? Call (503.378.5011) or email Jennifer Maurer in Library Development.
Oregonian Receives 2012 Letters About Literature National Award
Lucia Hadella from Phoenix High School (near Talent, OR) was selected as one of the 12 national 2012 Letters About Literature national honor award winners. Lucia received a $100 Target gift card and her high school library received a $1,000 grant in her name. Oregon’s Letters About Literature Awards Celebration on May 11th at the State Library was a great success. The students read aloud personal letters they had written to authors about changes in themselves or the way they view the world to an audience of over 50 people.
Level I (4th – 6th Grade)
Honorable Mentions: Juliet Raedeke, Ashland - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land, Catherynne Valente; Anonymous - Bud Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis; Anonymous - Wings, Aprilynne Pike.
Runner-up:Sasha Bartoo-Smith, Portland - So B. It, Sarah Weeks.
First Place: Sinead Pyle, Ashland - Stargirl, Lisa Graff.
Level II (7th & 8th Grade)
Honorable Mentions: Felicity Rizzo, Portland - Love Drugged, James Klise; Dora Totoian, Roseburg - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith; Taylor Ishida, Portland - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.
Runner-up: Anonymous - If, Rudyard Kipling.
First Place: Ella Beaver, Portland - The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne.
Level III (9th – 12th Grade)
Honorable Mentions: Anonymous - Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell; Kelsi Gammon, Tigard - The Help, Kathryn Stockett.
Runner-up: Ben Jarrett, Beaverton - Tuesday’s With Morrie, Mitch Albom.
First Place: Lucia Hadella, Talent - A Language Older Than Words, Derrick Jensen
More information about this annual reading and writing contest is available on the Letters About Literature web page.
School Library Staffing and Spending Trends For Last Five Years and Beyond
Staff at the State Library is often asked about the change in Oregon school libraries over the last several years. Jennifer Maurer, OSL’s School Library Consultant, recently looked at data received from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) for the QEM & School Libraries annual report from a new angle. It seems school spending on library books and periodicals, both print and electronic, averaged $10.97 per Oregon public school student during the 2006-07 school year and $8.13 during 2010-11. That is nearly a $3 per student decline in this library spending category in five years. (Note: The figures were pulled from data supplied by ODE. School library staff who reported corrections often indicate that their true budgets were less than what was reported to ODE.) During the same time period, the national average price for a children’s & young adult hardcover book rose from $21.60 to $23.85. Also during that five-year span, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) licensed librarians serving public school students dropped from 389 to 308, and the number of students per librarian rose from 1,447 to 1,822. These figures have been tracked since the 1980-81 school year, when there were 818 FTE licensed librarians which equaled about 547 students per librarian. If you include the 47 FTE licensed librarians cut from elementary and middle schools in Salem-Keizer School District for the 2011-12 school year, that roughly puts the licensed staffing figure at about 261 for this year. Next school year the FTE total is expected to drop by another 44 to about 217 when Beaverton School District cuts all licensed school librarian positions. The estimates for this school year and next do not account for other cuts or the potential for some increases in other districts. While many libraries are being run or supported by excellent library paraprofessionals, the ideal is to match licensed staff with paraprofessionals and reasonable budgets to create strong school library programs.
Oregon State Library
Library Development: 503-378-2525, Ferol Weyand, Darci Hanning, Ann Reed
, Jennifer Maurer, Katie Anderson.
Letter to Libraries Online is published monthly by the Oregon State Library. It is available free of charge and is published only in electronic form on the publications page on the Oregon State Library's homepage: http://www.oregon.gov/OSL.
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